Library goers may want to think twice before taking that deep breath to relax on their finals study crunch.
On the second floor of the library, all is quiet as students diligently work from their laptops or immerse themselves in textbook readings. Only a few steps away from the tables accommodating studying students, the rows of books have been sectioned off with caution tape and signs reading: “DO NOT ENTER. AREA CLOSED.”
According to Terri Carbaugh, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Aspergillus mold is typically non-harmful unless prior conditions, such as allergies, exist. Carbaugh said the University Library is taking steps to eradicate the mold in the stacks of books, and has succeeded in isolating the Aspergillus so the rest of the second floor may operate as normal.
“[Aspergillus] is fairly common,” Carbaugh said. “It’s non-threatening, but people who have allergies may be affected by something like that.”
Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are often present in the air we breathe, according to aspergillus.co.uk. While normally these spores do not cause illness in people, persons with weakened immune systems, damaged lungs or allergies may be vulnerable to lung-related diseases if exposed to air with a high volume of spores.
As of right now, it is unclear as to how long the second floor stacks will be restricted. For the time being, though, students don’t seem to mind using the study space beside the sectioned-off area.
The second floor of the library is home to books on philosophy, history and geography, as well as the children’s section, which is still open to the public.
In an emailed statement to the Daily 49er, Dean of the Library Roman Kochan thanked Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Planning and Facilities Management for their success in isolating the mold.
“We are truly fortunate this was caught early and that our team of professionals in PPFM acted so decisively to confirm the safely of all of us in the library and to take corrective action.” Kochan said. “Cleaning of the affected area is now in progress and access to it will be restored shortly.”
This story will be updated.